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E-bike E-xperiences?

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the pedal-harder dept.

Hardware Hacking 520

Jakedata writes "I am in the process of building my first e-bike. I intend to use it to commute to work a couple times a week, weather permitting. I can only assume that many members of the /. crowd are already riding e-bikes and would be only too happy to share their experiences. I am looking at a very affordable e-bike conversion kit from Golden Island Machinery. They offer a 36 volt lead-acid battery pack for it, but I am concerned that it will be too heavy. Rabbit tool has a selection of components and power options but they are pretty pricy. So, is Golden Motor's kit any good? Is lead acid OK to start off with? Does someone want to donate a direct-conversion methanol fuel cell to the project?"

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520 comments

eh? (4, Interesting)

va3atc (715659) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425750)

This thing has a top speed of 36km/h and 50km distance. I'd say it would come in handy to complement your peddling when the wind is not in your favor.

Though I would have liked to have seen it hooked up to the derailleur as the motor specs says it has 'high torque'.

I can usually maintain 35km/h effortlessly, but with this beast 45km/h could be the crusing speed if peddling and motoring can go hand in hand.

Wouldn't go any faster on a pedal bike, leave that to the stunt people.

35km/h ? (3, Interesting)

jjga (612356) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425816)

Do you really mean 35km/h on average? For how long? That is almost as good as a professional cyclist can get...

Re:35km/h ? (2, Interesting)

va3atc (715659) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425831)

I don't have a speedometer but I generally keep up with in city traffic quite nicely.

I'd say I can usually keep that speed till the next red light, by then I'm recharged and ready to go again :)

Re:35km/h ? (1)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426128)

Probably more like 30 over distance; on a road bike 35's not too hard at all, but on a mountain bike MOST people are burning energy pretty quickly at that speed.

Ned Overend not withstanding, of course, that guy has a VO2 max that coul kill a weaker man.

Re:35km/h ? (3, Funny)

really? (199452) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426267)

It must mean I am in FANTASTIC shape. I kick traffic's butt any day of the week. Oh yeah, I commute in Tokyo ... never mind ... my father could probably kick traffic's butt here.

Why not... (3, Insightful)

ericdano (113424) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425761)

Why not just invest in a good, light weight bike. It will cost you a lot, but the light weight construction will be a LOT easier for you to bike with.

Something like a Trek or Cannondale.

Re:Why not... (3, Funny)

ImTwoSlick (723185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425997)

Why not just invest in a good, light weight bike. It will cost you a lot, but the light weight construction will be a LOT easier for you to bike with.

I don't think there's a bike light enough to make up for my heavyweight ass.

Re:Why not... (2, Informative)

recursiv (324497) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426089)

Once you start riding, you might be surprised to see how quickly you lose the ass. It won't happen overnight, but I am sure you or anyone else would be able to gradually lose weight, increase endurance and general health, even if starting from a very low level.

Re:Why not... (1)

ImTwoSlick (723185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426118)

Once you start riding, you might be surprised to see how quickly you lose the ass.

It was mostly a joke. During the spring and summer I take my mountain bike out on the trails every other weekend.
BTW.. Why am I talking about my ass on slashdot? :-)

Re:Why not... (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426264)

Well, then perhaps you should get rid of the weight....

A mountain bike with it's wider tires might be better.....

how about a real bicycle? (5, Insightful)

brer_rabbit (195413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425780)

when I was employed (oh so long ago...) I biked to work 2-3 times a week, about 12 miles each way. Screw the e-bike, get the real thing. Peddling your ass that distance will get you in great shape. On top of that, I find cycling a lot less stressful than driving, it's relaxing really.

Re:how about a real bicycle? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425798)

And nothing like that sexy helmet hair to attract your female coworkers.

Re:how about a real bicycle? (2, Funny)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425859)

when I was employed (oh so long ago...) I biked to work 2-3 times a week, about 12 miles each way.

Hmmm.... biking 12 miles to work on a hot summer morning.... Now, I'm not a rocket surgeon, but is there a teeny possibility that this could somehow be related to being employed "oh so long ago"? :o)

Re:how about a real bicycle? (1)

rainer_d (115765) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426065)

> Hmmm.... biking 12 miles to work on a hot summer
> morning...

The trick is, to get up early enough, so it's not too late in the morning.
And you must try not to ride too fast.
Also, after some training, you're not going to sweat that easily ;-)

Rainer

Re:how about a real bicycle? (2, Informative)

really? (199452) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426298)

I do it all the time in Tokyo weather. No problem. You get there early, wait a few minutes to stop sweating, and do the "towel wash and change of clothes" thing.

Re:how about a real bicycle? (3, Insightful)

mykingdomforahorse (744451) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425861)

Though I understand your thought, I tend to get irked by bike enthusiasts who decry the e-bike and take an (often) macho approach to human-powered transportation. Maybe the poster isn't as concerned with "peddling ass" and is more worried about environmental issues, or simply agrees with you about the stress issues of commuting, and doesn't want to get all sweaty before work. (Thus begins "peddling ass" jokes.)

Re:how about a real bicycle? (1, Offtopic)

uss_valiant (760602) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425864)

I find cycling a lot less stressful than driving, it's relaxing really.
Relaxing? Not really, when I'm on my bike, I feel the ultimate urge to cycle as fast as I can. Well maybe that's because I'm always late :).
However, I hope I'll reach my destination tomorrow in time: 170 km in 8 hours on a mountain bike :/

Re:how about a real bicycle? (1)

Peter Eckersley (66542) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426265)

However, I hope I'll reach my destination tomorrow in time: 170 km in 8 hours on a mountain bike :/

I hope you have slick tires.

Re:how about a real bicycle? (3, Insightful)

still_sick (585332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425910)

There're a couple twits in my office that do this (Bike to work every day as exercies).

You can pick them out easily, because they end up smelling up the place.

For the sake of all that is good and holy, DO NOT bike into work unless you intend to SHOWER when you get there.

Re:how about a real bicycle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425935)

Jesus, you can't just keep your mouth shut. If someone asked if a specific butter tastes better than another, are you going to answer the question if you know it, keep your mouth shut if you don't, or would you prefer instead to insist that the rest of the world just buys milk and churns butter each morning since that tastes best.

Get a life. If you worked for me, I'd can your ass out of principle, you obviously can't provide any valuable input.

Re:how about a real bicycle? (1)

agent (7471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425949)

Thank you.

My father bikes every day! The only time he will not bike is when there is to much snow, or he needs to do some thing like donate blood, or go to a VFW meeting.

You do not realize how easy you have it.

And yes, I am a hippo crate (I do not bike every day), but I would need to be paralyzed before I purchased a human transporter.

Respectfully yours,
-Steve

Why methanol vs ethanol (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425783)

from TFA: Does someone want to donate a direct-conversion methanol fuel cell to the project?"

Why methanol? Wouldn't an ethanol fuel cell be better, because then you could share a drink with it?

but jokes aside, does anyone know of advantages of methanol over ethanol fuel cells?

Re:Why methanol vs ethanol (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425934)

I'm not sure why on the fuel cell, but from racing I can tell you a few things.
You can't (not as a fuel) buy ethanol, you can buy e-95 (95% ethanol, 5% methanol) Drinking ethanol (100% ethanol) is strictly taxed. They use e-80 and the like a lot in brazil instead of fossel-fuels. e-95 got a bad name as of late becouse it can be used in explosives with ease. Methanol works better as a fuel becouse it absorbs less water from the air (but is still really bad about it) and its cheaper. Also, it smells really good when its burning, but if you drink it, it will pickle your liver. In world war II the us used methonal in torpeados, some people still call it torpeado juice. Also methanol has a higher octain rating (really high, like 130 or something like that) and it can cool your manifold better then gas.

Re:Why methanol vs ethanol (1)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426004)

In the UK it would be cost, there's a huge tax on pure ethanol (to stop people drinking it) or they add nasty poisons to it for the same reason.

e-bike? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425784)

...oh, you mean 'electric' bicycle.

Yeah, that's interesting....not.

Talk about re-inventing the wheel :)

By the way, there are many of these already manufactured and ready to roll - Asia has several models I'm sure a few of which are available in your area.

Why not pedal? (1, Offtopic)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425785)

Why don't you just pedal instead of riding it? Personally, I spend most of my day in front of a computer now and do even less excerise than I use to after I graduated from college. Needless to say, I put on some weight. Cycling is one of the best aerobic excerises out there. Professional cyclists are among the leanest athletes. Even 30 minutes of pedalling will help burn enough calories to compensate for spending most of your day sitting in front of a screen.

Why not help him? (4, Insightful)

potat0man (724766) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425907)

Why don't you help this guy instead of giving him advice he's not asking for?

I can't believe how pessimistic this slashdot crowd can be. Some guy wants to work on a new project to replace his car and all anyone can do is call him a fat ass.

Re:Why not help him? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425930)

I can't believe how pessimistic this slashdot crowd can be.

You must be new here. Believe it.

Re:Why not help him? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10426269)

Soooo potat0man lemme guess...you're a fat ass? ;-)

Sharper Image E-Bike? (2, Informative)

seanismdotcom (746929) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425789)

Have you considered buying an E-Bike? Something like the Sharper Image One... http://store.yahoo.com/sharperimage-best/si791.htm l [yahoo.com] $1000

Re:Sharper Image E-Bike? (1)

mrgreen4242 (759594) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425929)

Well, at first glance, $1000 is a helluva lot more than the $400 or so this would cost, if you just bought the kit he referenced and payed all the shipping (rather than get the batteries locally) AND got a cheap new bike, or a nice used one.

Plus it wouldn't be nearly as much fun to build?

Excercise maybe? (0, Troll)

Compholio (770966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425791)

So maybe, just maybe, it's a good idea to actually get some excercise on your bike? You're probably going to work to sit at a desk all day, so you could burn a few calories on the way there and back to make up for your big mac at lunch.

Re:Excercise maybe? (1)

realdpk (116490) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425843)

If you could do a combo pedal + electric, you'd probably see a lot more people riding around towns such as Seattle or worse SF (plenty of uphill riding in both). You'd still be burning some calories -- more than in a car -- and you could maybe even eventually take the electric parts off (or replace the bike) when you get more in shape.

Besides, some people can't go to work all sweaty, ;)

Re:Excercise maybe? (1)

realdpk (116490) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425860)

Drat, wish I could delete my own posts. Just R'd the TFA (took a chance, usually they're down due to a lack of mirroring, heh). N/m all that nonsense.

True Story (5, Funny)

mixmasterjake (745969) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425797)

Once I was riding my bike to high-school and some jerk dumped their coke on me as they drove by. True Story. Had I been riding an e-bike, I might have been electrocuted.

Re:True Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425959)

With the way you tell stories, you should be greatful it wasn't gasoline and a match.

Re:True Story (1)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426237)

Never mind the dangers of random strangers deciding to impale you with a lightning rod...

If the bike can handle rain without killing the rider, it can prolly handle jerks with coke too.

And if it can't handle that, I think its about time for a class action lawsuit. :-)

Don't like pedals? (1, Insightful)

sapgau (413511) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425801)

Back in my day, we used our feet to get the wheels turning... we managed to use the different gears to adjust going up hill. If the hill was too steep we got off and pushed.

Back in my day, people seemed skinnier too.

Ha Ha!

Re:Don't like pedals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425968)

back in your day, women stayed home with the babies and having to rush like hell to get to the day care to get the little monsters ddn't require you to leave work early and ride a 400hp motorcycle to get there before daycare started charging 3 times your weekly salary per 10 minutes you were late.

Re:Don't like pedals? (1)

BraveSlice (702315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426246)

Back in my day, people used to push gas pedal in their cars we managed to buy a new car every fourth year. If we got a salary rise we bought a new car sooner. Back in my day, people seemed skinnier too, well this I agree, at least if I compare photos of me.

Young Geek (5, Interesting)

BarakMich (90556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425813)

When I was a young geek of 9, I got my ham radio license.

I tricked my bike out with an old 2M radio bolted to the handlebars, 6V golf cart battery under the seat, and a whip antenna attached to the frame, down by the rear axle, running up like one of those flags

More than doubled the bike's weight. I was, however, the kid with a real mobile rig.

I only really talked to my parents with it, but it was still cool. And ultra-geeky.

Hehe

exercise (1, Redundant)

beavmetal (250116) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425819)

Why not just peddle the bike.

This doesn't help the environment. It increases the use of batteries. Add some more acid to the compost heap.

This does not help Fat America for it does not induce exercise. With all these electric vehicles (bikes, power wheels, little motorcycles, etc) think of how FAT our kids will be.

Christ aren't we lazy enough already. Pretty soon there will be machines so we dont have to actually move ourselves during sex. It will be aptly titled the E-Sex machine.

Re:exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425855)

Pretty soon there will be machines so we dont have to actually move ourselves during sex.

I don't think there are many people on this site who are overly concerned with this problem.

Re:exercise (2, Insightful)

djchristensen (472087) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426029)

Why not just peddle the bike.

This doesn't help the environment. It increases the use of batteries. Add some more acid to the compost heap.


Reminds me of an article I read a while back about the proliferation of "e-bikes" in China and how ironic it was that China was being so much more environmentally aware than us stupid Americans.

I couldn't help but think that those e-bikes were most likely replacing "regular" bikes as opposed to getting people out of their cars. So instead of reducing emissions, they were adding a bunch of lead-acid batteries that need to be charged and that would eventually go to landfills.

Of course in the poster's case, he probably would be getting out of a car, so he would be making an improvement, just not as much as if he did all the pedalling himslef. Hmmm, what affect would all the extra CO2 from the heavy breathing have?

Just ride? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425824)

Why don't you just drink some 151 and then ride your bike to work without buying any conversion kit? Is it really that hard to just commute?

I don't want to contribute flamebait, I realize that it could be difficult at first, but if you take it slow and be consistent, you will find yourself in much better shape, with a higher energy level and (my favorite) the ability to abuse dessert more often without penalty.

Riding your bike can be great and I wish everyone would do it. If you want to make it a geek project, you can build your own [sheldonbrown.com] and load the handlebars with a cool computer [amazon.com] and HID lights [niterider.com] to impress anyone. Good luck!

dump the e (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425840)

e-bikes are for pussies and 'senior citizen'

GoMotorboard 1500X (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425854)

I've been riding a GoMotorboard 1500X that I got refurbished for $150 (down from $300 retail). It really does go 15MPH for about 10-15mi on flat, paved streets on a charge. Small hills (30 degrees) slow it to a crawl and eat the battery, but it keeps chugging, though the rises in Manhattan and most of Brooklyn are no problem. And the regenerative braking seems to work, albeit at much less than 100% efficiency. I've had some battery charging problems, but I got a couple replacements that I can now carry charged, extending its roundtrip charge life to up to 45mi or so. Best of all, it snaps down into a 25lb package over my shoulder, so 10 minute walks from subways are now 3-5 minutes. And it's really fun whizzing around nearly silently. But I wish it had inflatable (less efficient) tires, because the ride over any roughness, including sidewalk seams, can be too much. And quits immediately if the drivewheel gets even a little wet. Worth it.

Re:GoMotorboard 1500X (1)

Andre060 (99353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426083)

Small hills (30 degrees)

Holy CRAP!

Where on earth do *you* live? I'm not too far from San Fran, and let me tell you .. I don't consider those 30 degree inclines small!!!

Re:GoMotorboard 1500X (1)

recursiv (324497) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426119)

It's already been stated by another poster, but 30 degrees is not a "small hill". It is a gargantuan monstrosity of a hill. I have seen precious few paved roads in my life at this incline. This would be a 50% grade, whereas most cyclists would consider a comparatively "tame" 20% grade to be pretty brutal. If any battery powered vehicle can carry a human up this sort of incline for any significant distance at any speed > 0, I would consider that a major achievement.

Re:GoMotorboard 1500X (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10426196)

According to Amazon.com, it can do a 6 degree (10% grade) climb.

get in trouble for having a motorized "vehicle" (2, Interesting)

SpecialAgentXXX (623692) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425856)

I think you might get into trouble for operating a motorized vehicle without the proper license or registration. Since you stated that you want to commute to work, why not get a scooter? You can ride legally on all of the same roads as a car can and not have to worry about cars passing (and nearly hitting) you on busy streets while on a bicycle.

I ride a motorcycle to work and it is the funnest thing! I blow past all of the cars and cut in front of everyone at stop lights.

Re:get in trouble for having a motorized "vehicle" (1)

Slugworth01 (738383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426097)

Riding a motorcycle to work IS the funnest thing. If you are in a state that allows lane splitting (like California) you can get through craptacular cage traffic fairly easily. Makes the commute much more fun.

On the way home, when you need some stress relief, you take the "long way home" through your favorite windy road.

Re:get in trouble for having a motorized "vehicle" (1)

ImTwoSlick (723185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426139)

You can ride legally on all of the same roads as a car can and not have to worry about cars passing (and nearly hitting) you on busy streets while on a bicycle.
[snip]
I blow past all of the cars and cut in front of everyone at stop lights.

Somehow I think you might want to watch out for people trying to hit you.

Two or Three a Week (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425863)

Get run over out here in colorado. Everyone bikes or walks and it seems like almost every day the radio traffic report talks about some pedestrian or biker getting run over. Far more so than anywhere I've ever lived out east. It's more predictably sunny here, so people can bike or walk more, I guess.

I was coming down out of the mountains last year and got stuck behind some flatlander doing 35-40 mph around the curves. On that road it's all curves. The funny thing was, there was a bicycle behind him and the guy on the bike was tailgating the flatlander.

Now personally I haven't ridden a bike in about 2 decades. But when I did back in the day, we never wore helmets. The question never came up. Amazing, in retrospect, that we all survived. I went over the handlebars or in other various directions several times back in the day and still managed to survive. I suppose the helmet is to protect your brain while the rest of your body is horribly crushed and mutilated. Or something. Worst case, you might end up like that guy on star trek that has to be pushed around and can only communicate by flashing a light, but at least you survived getting run over by some bozo in an SUV...

Re:Two or Three a Week (3, Interesting)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426098)

It's more predictably sunny here, so people can bike or walk more, I guess.
I live in the Netherlands, the weather sucks all the time, it's either raining and/or cold, or it's too warm/humid (happens a few days each year, rest of the time it's cold and raining), still we have more bicycles than people here, and no one wears a helmet. ofcourse, it's as flat as a pancake out here, so no crazy downhill speeds.
I think the reason bikes are so popular down here is that it's just too crowded for cars, and the distances are relatively short.
It's also probably the only country where it's perfectly normal to pick up your date on a bike.

Re:Two or Three a Week (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426243)

" I suppose the helmet is to protect your brain while the rest of your body is horribly crushed and mutilated. Or something."

I've heard that one of the most disgusting aspects of dealing with traffic accidents is when people have had their heads smashed open and their brains everywhere.

I suspect that the helmet law is not 'nanny state' forcing you to wear a helmet for your own good, but rather its in the interests of morale in the emergency services.

Re:Two or Three a Week (4, Insightful)

dasunt (249686) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426306)

I was coming down out of the mountains last year and got stuck behind some flatlander doing 35-40 mph around the curves. On that road it's all curves. The funny thing was, there was a bicycle behind him and the guy on the bike was tailgating the flatlander.

FYI, not all vehicles handle curves the same, nor do all tires. Also, many people don't want to feel the centrifugal force while going around the corner, or have everything in the back shift to the other side of the vehicle.

Is it the car commercials that creates the race-car mentality in most people? Is it the long commutes to work? What? Its amazing how irate people can become when you do "only" 5 mph over the speed limit. Or when you slow down on a curvy road so that your stopping distance is less then your field of vision. Speaking of stopping distance, its amazing how many people think that a 20 year old pickup, fully loaded, with trailer, will stop as quickly as a compact car. At least, that's what I'm assume they are thinking, why else would they pull out right in front of me?

Slow down.

Why lead-acid? (3, Informative)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425865)

If it were me, I'd dump the lead-acid cells and use Li-Poly (Lithium Polymer).
Sure they're more expensive but they're much, much lighter due to their greater power density (hence a lot easier to pedal when you're not using the batteries).
Just make sure you use a real Li-Poly charger otherwise they could go bang.

Re:Why lead-acid? (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426066)

They are quite dangerous, even with the proper charger. I know people who use them in model airplanes and one nearly had his house burn down due to a problem with his battery while it was just sitting there doing nothing!

The girl from the site... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10425892)

is getting me e-xcited. More girls should ride bikes in short skirts.

goldenmotor.com/e-Bike-DIY/sample-e-bike.jpg

Use a Velomobile! (5, Interesting)

Nyh (55741) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425904)

I use a Velomobile to get to work and back (http://www.velomobiel.nl/ [velomobiel.nl]). It is fast and wether proof. (and there is a lot of nasty wheter over here in the Netherlands.

Nyh

Re:Use a Velomobile, they are fast dry efficient (5, Informative)

NtwoO (517588) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425996)

They are really amazing. My distance to work is 70km and I do it twice a week. Best time for the 70km is 1h53. The superiority of a Velomobile is proven in bad weather conditions. The vehicle is relatively insensitive for wind. This is due to a Cx (wind drag coefficient) of .15 A normal bicycle is above 1. The price is a minor problem. It is only a problem untill you have it. The 9 month delivery time is a major problem.

More info on the linked kit... (3, Interesting)

mrgreen4242 (759594) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425911)

This is something I have been thinking about for a good 6 months now, and it may be my winter project this year...

What do you know about the kit that was linked in the article? It seems that this kit powers your front wheel, while you power the back with a stadard pedal arrangement. That's something I haven't seen in an ebike before. Would you be limited to going the fastest that the motor/gearbox in the front wheel can move, or would you be able to add your pedal power and the electric motor to move at a greater pace? I obviously see the potential for greater acceleration and easier to maintain speed while going uphill, etc, but I'd like to be able cruise at a high speed for longish distances. Or, alternatively, add a little extra speed to my cruising for long durations.

The battery, I agree looks pretty hefty, I'll be interested to see what the /. crowd comes up with on that. Does the "power braker" = a regenerative braking system, or is it some sort of power assited brake to help you slow down at higher speeds and with the extra weight?

Lost Technology (2, Funny)

Gogela (750552) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425917)

Two words people: MO-PED. Yah... it's already been invented. You can pick one up from the neighborhood kids for about 50 bucks.

Re:Lost Technology (4, Funny)

friedmud (512466) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425971)

But that burns fossile fuels!!!!

Unlike the coal power plan that makes the electricity that charges your E-Bike...............

Friedmud

Re:Lost Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10426297)

two words

Fat Chicks (are like Mo-Peds...fun to ride until your friends find out.)

let's get it over with - 1ce&4all (1, Funny)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425946)

I don't see why won't you just be the ubergeek and build an android with your image and send it to work every day so you won't have to even get out of your bed ? You wouldn't even have to sit on a bike, let alone pedal the darn thing.

Man, if laziness would be a lethal disease, we'd have many more IT jobs open.

Re:let's get it over with - 1ce&4all (1)

Justin205 (662116) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425980)

The moment we have machines that replace us completely is the moment humans are obsolete. And what happens to most obsolete hardware? You see it around a little for the next few years before it completely disappears. Personally I'd rather work than have my species cease to exist.

Although if some people ceased to exist I wouldn't be mad, mind you....

I'm not one to bite (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426180)

but i can undeerstand your frustration. however, try constructively saving this kind of arguement for when you can have a clear head and then review your post, remove the antagonising tone putting it to a postive light and then, only then, posting it.

it'll serve you well. and probably land you that job you wanted.

Bicycle commuting (4, Informative)

angio (33504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10425998)

I spent a summer in the bay area without a car (interesting experience; not recommended). Part of that involved a 12mi each way commute by bicycle. It was usually the highlight of the day - took about 50 minutes if I didn't want to get sweaty, about 5 minutes longer than it took via caltrain and walking. I'd highly recommend attempting your commute on a normal bike for a while and see how it pans out, particularly if it's under, say, 10-15 miles. The exercise is great, and it's a nice way to flush work from your system on the way home---and you get to pass all of those poor suckers in cars during rush hour. :) The advantages to a non-powered bike are several:
  • Easy storage - you can haul it into your office / apartment / up stairs, etc., with no effort.
  • Value - bike theft is a major problem in some areas. A good commuter bike is cheaper than an e-bike, and (because of the easy storage thing) easier to secure.
  • Efficiency - the MPGs are a little higher... ;-)
  • Maintenence - maintaining your own bike is easy and rewarding. I suggest Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenence [amazon.com] (or mountain, if you're of that persuasion). Verrrrry good book. With no engine to take care of, it's easier to deal with on your own.
  • Exercise - goes without saying.
  • Easier to stuff in a car... just in case. :)

If you can shower at work, it's easier, but it's also very possible to take it a little easy on the way in to work and not show up smelling. Then you get the option of hammering it on the way home or just taking it easy. :)

Good luck with whichever way you decide to get to work -- far better than hauling a 3000lb steel beast to and fro every day!

Pedal, it's faster (1, Redundant)

markw365 (185614) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426009)

I commute to work 3-4 days a week, 19 miles one way. Takes about 60-75 minutes. Get a nice late 80's early 90's lightweight road bike and just ride. On a flat once you're in shape, maintaining 20+mph isn't that hard. With the E-Bike, you won't get in shape, and you'll have guys like me passing you uphill and laughing. I've buried E-bikes on my road bike. Usually on a bit of an incline, and who knows, batteries may have been dead on the thing, but they weren't keeping up, that's for sure.

Good lord...welcome to slashdot (4, Insightful)

omarKhayyam (544074) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426016)

The poor guy asks for advice building an e-bike, and 50% of the +3 comments are "Why don't you just peddle (you lazy f*ck)?" Because I'm sure that thought NEVER CROSSED HIS MIND. Ever.

Re:Good lord...welcome to slashdot (1)

titzandkunt (623280) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426213)


"...'Why don't you just peddle[sic] (you lazy f*ck)?' Because I'm sure that thought NEVER CROSSED HIS MIND. Ever...."

Sadly, given the (general) state of our health and our fitness levels, this could easily be true.

T&K

Re:Good lord...welcome to slashdot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10426255)

What did you expect from the "RTFM!" crowd?

Re:Good lord...welcome to slashdot (2, Insightful)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426287)

Maybe that's because those comments are right?

An e-bike confers no speed advantage, at the cost of being environmetally unfriendly, and denying the user exercise.

Objectively speaking, this is a net loss. So yes, he is a lazy bastard, and a polluter to boot.

Mart

an observation about the OSS crowd (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10426034)

i dont know how many comments ive see that say something like "why dont you just peddle the bike and forget about the e-bike stuff"

making jokes about being Tubby and this and that..

this is a common (but unfortunate) attitude i often find in the OSS community at large (bad pun, i know)

the question is NOT "what do you think about e-bikes" or "do you like the idea of ..."

the question is about how to build one regardless of your opinion on the matter.

i often encounter this attitude in IRC aswell somebody asks a question about how to use a program and people say things like "what you are trying to do is stupid, you shouldnt be doing that at all, instead you should " rather than helping the person do what it is they are asking about in the first place.

point is: if you dont have something constructive to say that helps the person asking the question they are posing to you, butt out and let people who are actually interested in the specific topic in question to help add productive comments to the thread.

Re:an observation about the OSS crowd (3, Insightful)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426304)

I don't agree. If someone asks you for help doing something that is obviously stupid, you should tell them that it is stupid and why, and not help them do it - that's not "helping" at all!

I agree that that's not the case here (saying e-bikes are always a bad idea is just wrong), but it is true of, for instance, some programming questions people ask, probably similar to the "OSS" stuff you're talking about.

If someone has variables named x0, x1, x2, x3, x4 etc and wants to do strange hacks with introspection and manipulation of namespace tables etc to change them all inside a loop, but has no idea how to do that - you don't explain how it could be done, you tell him "you don't want to do that, use a list" (I'm thinking of Python things). That is constructive.

The sad truth... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10426040)

The sad truth about "e-bikes", and designs similar to it, is that they're too fruity for a guy to be caught dead on! Seriously, if I'm going to take the extreme risk of riding a donorcycle it might as well be a manly thing.

Mod me down, but everybody knows it's true. Only in asia are these fruity moped-ish bikes socially acceptable.

Re:The sad truth... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10426277)

They're popular in other parts of the world besides just asia.

Also, these bikes are not that "fruity" you vain conformist homophobe fuckwad!

OH! E is for electric! (3, Funny)

Ambush_Bug (106102) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426050)

I thought he was talking about making a bike that
distributed WiFi... like this:

http://www.magicbike.net/ [magicbike.net]

I read half the discussions about being a fat ass before
I realized what the hell was going on...

that'll teach me not to follow the links.

Re: Magicbike.net (1)

Ghostgate (800445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426176)

Heh, look at the yellow road sign on that site and the thing coming out of the back of the bike. Is it just me, or does it look like the bike rider is doing something OTHER than distributing wifi? ;)

lazy cunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10426051)

just ride it with l-power, lose weight, get fit and stop being such a dick. mmmkay?

Why not add some gadgets? (2, Interesting)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426058)

Why not add gadgets to a regular bike? Like say a Palm Pilot or a GPS? That would, IMO make it an E-bike. If you are looking for an electric bike, then why not build an electric motorbike or perhaps a scooter?

I mean, having a bike and NOT moving it under your own power (Kinetic or Potential energy here) really defeats the purpose.

Check out Wilderness Energy and Largo Scooters (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10426103)

Check out

http://www.wildernessenergy.com

They have a nice kit. But if you want better quality, for about $160 more you can get the Go Hub kit from:

http://www.largoscooters.com/stealthkits.html

Also here is a great site for reports on EBikes:

http://www.visforvoltage.com

need parts (1)

JANYAtty. (678934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426129)

Any ideas where I can get a small electric motor to drive an ebike? I dont want to do the hub centric thing.

Re:need parts (1)

SLOviper (763177) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426174)

You can read my post under yours for more info, but the short answer to your question is http://www.robotmarketplace.com/ [robotmarketplace.com].

I would recommend the "EV Warrior" motor for price-performance or the "MagMotors" if budget isn't such an issue.

E-bike / BattleBots (5, Informative)

SLOviper (763177) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426141)

After getting into BattleBots years ago, I decided to reduce my commute to college (before I graduated) by building an electric scooter out of "spare" parts. It's not an e-bike from the standpoint that I didn't want to have to input any energy into the system myself (i.e. the motors had to do all the work). For cost and simplicity reasons, I chose to go with SLA (sealed lead acid) batteries and a couple of overvolted motors. With the proper timing, I achieved a flat speed of 16.5 MPH on two 1HP motors. With 64Ah (@12V) of Pb-acid chemistry onboard (this weighed a whopping 50 pounds), I had a maximum range (tested on all terrain including large hills) of just over 12 miles.

That's what I did and perhaps you can learn from what I would have done differently. First off, I would have used NiMh batteries. This would have cut the weight in more than half and also would have allowed me to customize the pack more both in shape and capacity (I only needed to go 9 miles in a day). The only downside to this was the charge time. SLA batteries are pretty indestructible and I could charge the full 64Ah in around an hour. With NiMh, you're talking about several hours or less if you don't mind compromising lifespan (with the right charger you could charge the same capacity in NiMh in the same time if you didn't mind getting only ~100 charges out of your packs). If I had the cash, I would probably use the high capacity, high discharge Li-Ion batteries from PowerStream (http://www.powerstream.com/LL.htm [powerstream.com]) as they would be incredibly light (~10 pounds for the same capacity).

As far as the motors went, I was fairly satisfied with the power output, but would have liked more. If you compare it to a car (~100HP for ~2000 pounds), you should have ~10-15HP available for the same performance. Now with electric motors, due to their differing torque curves (in comparison to internal combustion engines), you can achieve similar results from significantly less overall horsepower, but I still would have preferred having 3-6HP on my project.

Of course, if you go with high output motors, you need a speed controller capable of handling the current. And if you go with the Li-Ion batts, you need a fairly expensive charger.

You can take a look at some basic pics of my scooter at:
http://sloviper.com/hobbies/scooter/index.html [sloviper.com]

A good place for parts is:
http://www.robotmarketplace.com/ [robotmarketplace.com]

Cheap Ni-Mh batteries can be found at:
http://www.batteryspace.com/ [batteryspace.com]
I have used them in BattleBots before and they hold up decently, almost as well as the "expensive" ones from http://www.battlepack.com/ [battlepack.com]

If you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me. I love discussing this sort of thing and have had tons of experience. :-)

To be fair... (1)

sapgau (413511) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426153)

It really didn't sound practical at first: over 15 lbs. of gear, around 25 min. or 50 kms in range.

Maybe there are a bunch of motivated e-bikers out there but apparently Slashdot is only concerned in the other type of "e".

Good luck!

iBike (2, Interesting)

bgackle (597616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426212)

Why not make an iBike? It would be slightly more expensive, but much sleeker and more stylish.

BikeE (2, Interesting)

ouzel (655571) | more than 9 years ago | (#10426249)

You could install one of these on a BikeE [66.102.7.104] (Google cache of related pages) and be the first kid on the block to have an EbikeBikeE!
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